According to reports, first from Jason LaCanfora and later ESPN, the Patriots are going to release oft-injured third-year wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell.
Mitchell is a former 2016 fourth-round pick out of Georgia with a history of knee injuries that date back to college. He had an instant impact as a rookie, catching 32 passes for 401 yards and 4 touchdowns. He added seven postseason receptions, including six catches for 70 yards in the Super Bowl comeback over the Falcons.
But Mitchell missed all of last season with a knee injury and has yet to get on the field this summer for training camp.
Just prior to the opening of camp reports indicated that New England was looking for a trade partner for Mitchell, but apparently that team never materialized. There were also reports that he underwent a minor knee procedure in the days leading up to camp.
The Patriots receiver position has been very much in flux this summer. Jordan Matthews suffered a hamstring injury and was released/reverted to injured reserve. Kenny Britt has yet to take part in full practice action after opening camp on PUP with his own hamstring injury that dates back to the spring.
New England signed veteran free agent Eric Decker last week and also signed Paul Turner at the position during the first week of camp.
Adding uncertainty to the position is the fact the Julian Edelman is not only returning from a torn ACL that sidelined him all last year, but will also miss the first four games of the regular season to an NFL suspension.
This all came after the team traded Brandin Cooks to the Rams and lost Danny Amendola to the Dolphins in free agency this spring.
Even with all the questions, Mitchell was apparently no longer worth retaining largely given his inability to get and stay on the field.